Sleepless in Seattle isn’t the only thing the lovely city of Seattle has to offer; this popular metropolis is also home to the City University of Seattle – one of the most sought-after education hotspots for international students. Known to many as CityU, this institution is a private non-profit university, accredited up to doctoral level.
As written on its website, the University designs each course for the serious working adult, and even has its own specific School providing English courses for those interested in learning a language for business, travel or university credit. The Washington Academy of Languages (WAL) provides English and world language training to students and non-students of City University of Seattle.
The School provides three language programs – the English Language Program (ELP), Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages (TESOL) and World Language. For international students hoping to further their studies abroad and improve their English at the same time, the English Language Program is the ideal course for you. Designed with international students in mind, this course ensures students are well-versed in areas like social conversation, academic writing and oral presentations.
Under the English Language Program umbrella, students can choose to study either an Intensive English Language Program (ELP), Custom and Specialized Study Programs or a Corporate Language Training Program. For those aiming to further their studies at CityU or any other U.S. institution upon completion of the course, the Intensive English Language Program is the one for you. The program consists of six levels for a Level 1 Certificate or seven levels for a Level II Certificate, from beginning to advanced, plus one pre-development level. These classes are held every five weeks and full-time students learn for up to 20-hours per week.
You can also choose to study one-on-one with an instructor in a customized program format, meeting for the same amount of weekly class time. Each class has a maximum of 15 students to ensure all get the time to ask questions and sharpen their language skills in class. Participating in the ELP allows you enter City University of Seattle’s Language-Assisted MBA program, or other undergraduate degree programs, without any further language testing. But that’s not all that makes the ELP such an appealing course…
Development of ‘soft skills’
Presentation skills are among the most important skills among prospective employers; at the Washington Academy of Languages, students are not just trained to speak English better but to communicate and present in a confident and clear matter. Nguyen Ba Nguyen, a student of CityU who recently moved from Vietnam. He enjoys learning at the institution because it provides him with an opportunity to develop his presentation skills. “In Vietnam, I didn’t have chances to present,” Nguyen says. “In one of my classes, we get to present every day on a different topic. One day we presented on how people communicate in different cultures, and we didn’t have a chance to prepare – we just got up in front and presented.”
Diversity in School
One of the reasons the institution is popular among international students is due to its diversity. It’s also one of the things that convinced Nguyen to study here. “I was interested because of the percentage of international students [at the school], and I wanted to be in an urban area,” he explains.
One of the advantages of studying in such a diverse environment is the chance to meet people from all walks of life, something Nguyen appreciates very much. “I have classmates from Vietnam, India, China and America,” he says. “I get to learn how they work and how they express their ideas.” He also sees it as an opportunity to learn from his classmates about different cultures and traditions.
The School offers extra-curricular activities that not only allow students and alumni to experience American culture first-hand, but also allows them to improve their language by conversing with people other than their teachers and fellow classmates. The School has previously volunteered at the North Helpline Food Bank, which Sophy Chen, an alumnae of the English Language Program and a current CityU MBA candidate greatly appreciates.
“Volunteering is a component of American culture,” says Sophy who enjoyed speaking with clients and knowing she was helping them “feel better.” A fellow ELP student, Abdulaziz Bakhsh from Saudi Arabia was also happy to participate in the program which gave him the chance to give back to the local community.
A great city
Not only is Seattle a greast pleace to study, it’s also among the best cities to live in for singles. But don’t take our word for it! Let one of the current students of CityU tell you. “Seattle is beautiful,” says Nguyen. “The city isn’t huge, and it’s very walkable,” he adds. “It can get crowded sometimes but I’ve been in traffic jams here, but they’re not as bad as at home. Crossing the roads is safe,” he laughs.
One of Nguyen’s favourite things to do in Seattle is take in the sights and sounds of the city. “Seattle is near the water, and I like to watch the ferry boats,” he explains. He’s also a fan of the Space Needle which is iconic within the city. “The 20th floor in CityU’s residence hall is my favourite place because I like to look out at the Space Needle at night when I study or watch movies.”
With its stunning study location plus its variety of English language programs, it’s pretty obvious why so many overseas students are heading to the Washington Academy of Languages.
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